I’m a blind screen reader user. After about 5 minutes or so attempting to use Mattermost, I hit some semi-significant accessibility issues. To wit:
- The list, table, whatever containing chat messages should be an ARIA live region (I.e. have an
aria-live="polite"attribute) so screen readers read incoming chat messages automatically.
- The user menu containing the link to system settings is not keyboard accessible.
There are probably more, that’s just what I found fairly quickly. So in other words, Mattermost is pretty difficult for me to use in its default state, and not because it needs a different color scheme or I want a new small feature, but as a screen reader user I have to jump through hoops to use it. I pretty much have to contribute to this project if I am to use it at all.
I wanted to submit some PRs and fix these issues rather than just vent about them, but the process looks hugely bureaucratic. Immediately I noticed that the link to the development environment setup instructions in the README.md links to a page which is outdated and links me to another, so I thought I’d submit a PR fixing that, then move onto my accessibility issues. But, in reading your PR guidelines, it looks like every PR first needs a Jira ticket? If I want to fix your README.md, along with various accessibility issues that haven’t been addressed and which will mostly involve adding attributes to HTML tags that won’t at all change things for anyone other than blind screen reader users, do I really need to open Jira tickets and start discussions first?
Because, if so, then I may just file issues pointing folks to the relevant ARIA specs and letting others do the work. Sorry if I seem crabby, but as a blind software developer, I pretty much find myself doing this kind of work for any significant open source project I want to use, and if I was mucking around in critical authentication code or something to make Mattermost integrate with my custom auth system then that’d be one thing. But if I need to file tickets to add non-stylistic attributes to your HTML, which the PR guidelines make it seem like I do, then I may pass.
Thanks for any clarification on this. Hoping I can just do the work without having to fight with another ticketing system, and while Jira isn’t inaccessible as such, it’s kind of a cluttered interface that I don’t particularly enjoy working with.